How Much Protein Do You Need?

Written by Sheri Goodman Graham

On October 26, 2021
Sheri - How Much Protein Do You Need

Let’s Talk About Protein.

If we focus on eating whole foods, emphasizing eating a rainbow of colors from vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, mushrooms, nuts, seeds, herbs, and spices in infinite tasty combinations, and supplementing micronutrients as needed, we will be in much better health than eating animal proteins, powders, bars, pills and potions.

In 25+ years in the health and wellness industry, I have not seen a protein deficiency in any patients.

I do see cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol – diet-induced diseases – every single day.

Meat •Chicken •Fish• Pork• Eggs… are not a food group.

Let’s be clear on protein.

1. Protein is not a food group. It is one of three macronutrients essential in our diet.

All whole, intact foods contain some ratio of protein, carbs, and fats.

🌿If you eat a wide range of whole plant foods, including about three servings (1 to 1.5 cups) of legumes (beans, peas, lentils, soy foods) a day, you can easily meet your protein needs.

🌿We only need approximately 10 to 15 percent of our calories to come from protein.

The average woman needs about 46 grams per day and the average man, 56 grams per day, according to the Institute of Medicine.

This can also be looked at in grams per kilogram bodyweight per day (g/kg/d), which looks like this by age*:

1.5 g/kg/day for infants,
1.1 g/kg/day for 1-3 y
0.95 g/kg/day for 4-13 y
0.85 g/kg/day for 14-18 y
0.8 g /kg/day for adults >19 y
1.1 g/kg/day for pregnant (using pre-pregnancy weight) and lactating women

*To find out how much you need, simply divide your bodyweight in pounds by 2.2 and multiply the result by the recommended number based on your age.

For example, an 120 pound 22 year-old adult needs approximately 44 grams of protein per day (or 120/2.2 = 54.5 kg x 0.8 g/kg/d = 44 g).

With love,
Sheri

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